Marijuana consultant has criminal history
SAGUACHE COUNTY— According to a 2008 post on a blog hosted by the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (www.ccjrc.org), local marijuana consultant Michael Biggio is a convicted felon who has assisted other felons in re-establishing themselves in the community.
Until sometime in late March, early April, Biggio was a trustee on the Moffat Town Board. In the past he has presented himself as a local marijuana consultant at public meetings but is not licensed with the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). Currently Biggio holds a sales/consulting position with the group Area 420, a 420-acre commercial cannabis complex. Whitney Justice is the business manager for the complex and Jason Irwin is listed as the director of development.
The following post was found at https://thinkoutsidethecage2.blogspot.com/search?q=Biggio:
“Michael Biggio went to prison on marijuana and assault charges in 2000 and completed his parole last week [sometime in 2008].
“Last year, the 29-year-old from Littleton founded the Free Coalition, which stands for Felons Regaining Equal Employment. He runs the non-profit from Denver and is helping ex-prisoners enter society and find work.” The blog poster then relays Biggio’s comments under the header “Michael Biggio in his own words”.
S/he quotes Biggio as saying: “I spent the majority of my life incarcerated… When you go to prison, you get everything taken away from you. It’s all about getting as many rights back as you can. Getting back the right to vote — that’s an American right. It’s huge. It’s the final step. It’s practical and it’s symbolic as well.”
A brief survey of Biggio’s criminal history over the years shows numerous traffic violations and other charges. Some of them were criminal and resulted in prosecution, but most — some occurring in Saguache County — were dismissed. As recently as 2012, Biggio pled guilty to illegal marijuana cultivation.
It appears Biggio’s non-profit is no longer in operation, according to Secretary of State business registration records. Biggio’s father, Arthur, registered his son’s F.R.E.E. LLC under XCons4Hire. Since his move to Moffat, some county residents have objected to Biggio’s business affiliations.
Citizens have questioned his representation at Saguache County Planning Commission meetings for several growers, such as Jinfeng Liang and Zhuoyu Ling, who appeared unable to speak English sufficiently to explain their proposed operation to commissioners. His service on the Moffat Town Board was also seen by other county residents as a major conflict of interest.
Biggio and Moffat Town Board
Biggio reportedly resigned from the Moffat board of trustees in March. Both he and Raymond Michael Miller, who was later forced to resign from the Moffat Town Board as a trustee for violating state statutes, are believed to have voted for the contested Moffat annexation. Another board member who voted on the measure is believed to have been conflicted for other reasons.
While the town of Moffat has failed to reply to numerous requests by citizens to provide the records necessary to confirm basic facts, the town clerk/treasurer did confirm in July that two board members resigned, one of them Miller. According to records filed with Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), Michael Raymond Miller held an associated key license with MED
The resignations came, Moffat Town Clerk/Treasurer Sarah Van Horn reported, following a conversation with MED. MED confirmed that although they do not hold badges or do business in the Town of Moffat, government officials cannot hold badges in the State of Colorado. The statute prohibiting this reads: “‘(j) A sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, or prosecuting officer, or an officer or employee of the state licensing authority or a local licensing authority...’ excludes them from holding office.
Besides his position with Area 420, Biggio owns or has /had interest in some 14 other marijuana businesses in Saguache County, a May 2018 survey of marijuana transactions shows.
Background check oversight
MED is required to check for black market connections according to their regulations for retail marijuana cultivators and retail sales persons. MED also requires “Good Moral Character” in those applying for certain licenses.
MED’s Retail Marijuana Rules (R103) defines “Good Moral Character” as “having a personal history that demonstrates honesty, fairness and respect for the rights of others and for the law.” This term is also used a total of six times in the MED rules.
This specific character classification is required by four types of positions described in the rules: Associated Key License, Occupational License, Indirect Beneficial Interest Owner, Qualified Limited Passive Investor. At one time Jason Irwin, who partners with Justice and Biggio, held an associated key license and was subject to these MED rules.
Jason Irwin is a registered sex offender as reported at https://apps.colorado.gov/apps/dps/sor/search/search-detail.jsf?id=XX11499142 Irwin’s license is listed with MED as “withdrawn.”